Buy an Imac or Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pmc, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. pmc macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2009
    Hey there,

    First post on here and i hope some of you guys can help me out. Im currently in college doing a music tech course and I've decided to finally get myself a mac. This is quite an investment for me at the moment since i'll have to get out a student loan to fund the cost of it.

    Anyways heres my problem, should i go for a an Imac with 4gb ram, 2.66ghz processor and 500gb hard drive or the equivalent macbook pro i.e there most expensive model that seems to cost about 700e more due to portability? Im in mixed minds weather I need portability or not since I always work on production etc at home anyways. My main concern here is which is the better machine power wise and will it hold out with programs like logic, pro tools, illustrator, a lot of plugins, max/msp, soft synths etc.

    Also would there much of difference between the stated imac or an imac with a more powerful processor..say 2.8ghz and ram of 2gb?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    It seems to me as though you are looking at a classic power versus portability debate; you need to ask yourself, which do you ned more? Personally, I like the mix of power and portability that the MBP allows you; I have one and it is an excellent computer. Granted, the iMac offers better value for money than the MBP, but at a cost of lack of portability.

    Re your question, the MBP will readily do all that you ask of it - it really is a powerful machine, and it is possible to max out the RAM, too. If money is a problem, why not try a refurb MBP? They offer terrific value, are powerful, portable, and come with Apple's warranty.

    Cheers and good luck
  3. pkagel macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2008
    SoCal ExPat
    I was in basically the same position as you in January. Basically I ended up just getting the cables and adapter for plugging the MBP into my TV so I can have a huge display when I wanted it and some portability otherwise.
  4. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I had a 24" iMac, the first 24" that came out and I just sold it to get a "classic" MBP 2.5.
    I have to say my old iMac felt faster than my MBP, probably due to the desktop HD that it has.
    The "heavy" app I use is Final Cut.
    The 24" screen on the iMac is wonderfull, so if you plan to spend a lot of time infront of your Mac that sure helps.
    I like my MBP, but I used to love my iMac.
    I can´t help you any more than this I´m afraid.

    I think the 2,66 will be more than powerfull enough, better to have more RAM than a little faster processor.

    With the money saved, buy a cheap MB for portabillity if you feel you need it
  5. arthursiew macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2008
    SF Bay Area
  6. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    I would get the iMac with 2.8 and a 24" refurb for $1000 less than the equivelent mbp
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Sorry, but I'd get the MBP with student discount. For around $200 more, you get slightly less power (2.4 GHz and 3 MB cache on MBP; 2.8 GHz and 6 MB cache on 24" iMac), but far more portability. ;)

    I'd also buy a 320 GB 7200 rpm laptop harddrive (or 500 GB 7200 rpm HD from Sandisk), and an external that will accept Firewire.
  8. godaz macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2009
    I have an iMac now, the exact model you described and Im in the same boat. I want power and portability but I just dont think a MBP will match up and I will miss the lager screen of my iMac. If portability is at the top of your list get a MBP if not, get an iMac and a MacBook.
  9. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    Here is the question: Will you be taking the machine gigging? If so, I'd go for the MB, because the iMac will be unwieldy, and awkward to travel with constantly.

    If you are not traveling with the machine much, I'd consider the iMac because of the bigger screen, better video chipset (dedicated VRAM rather than shared), and better performance.
  10. pmc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2009
    Thanks for the quick replies! Still stuck between the imac and macbook pro tho....and 2 add to this equation I just read that damn thread on the new imac models due sometime soon?...perhaps it was a good thing i stumbled across it?!:confused: perhaps not as i can't spend the cash i got on something that good potentially be outdated by a new model in a month! now i'm truly stuck..!
  11. sebgreen macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2008
    Nothing is future proof

    Nothing is future proof, its the age old problem.

    A while back i bough a macbook and 6 days later they got updated. Luckily apple offer to swap it if they update anything within 14 days of purchase.

    Either machine you buy will one day get updated, its the way of the computer market so don't dwell on it too much, but it may be worth waiting a month to see if updates do come out as i recon then could be soon.

    As for MBP or iMac I bought a 2.53 4gb ram MBP about 3 weeks ago. love it, very fast and reliable, i run afew IDE's for programming and its very stable. If you can live without the portability save some money and get the iMac.

    Either machines are fantastic so i wouldnt feel bad if i bought either of them.

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